Yamaha will exit the World Superbike Championship on the ultimate high after Marco Melandri and Eugene Laverty gave the manufacturer a fabulous 1-2 finish in its final race.
A magnificent end to the season for the Japanese firm, which announced in August that it will be curtailing its factory involvement in the series after this weekend, though Laverty led the majority of the race, it was Melandri who would out-last his team-mate with a pass three laps from home.
Melandri's momentum built as the race progressed, with little movement between the top five for three-quarters of the encounter.
Indeed, though Jonathan Rea got the hole-shot from Melandri at the start of the race, Laverty was past both at the start of lap two into a lead he would maintain for almost its duration.
Melandri followed through on lap three, and though Rea got back in front when the Italian made an error on lap five, it was a brief advance as his rival slipped straight back past along the start-finish line on the next revolution.
From here, Laverty, Melandri, Rea, Carlos Checa
and Sylvain Guintoli held station in first to fifth, the quintet lapping almost identically, negating the opportunity for any passes to be made.
As such, it was only in the final four laps that the race came alive, Melandri renewing his pressure on Laverty to grab the lead for the first time on lap nineteen. With Laverty seemingly struggling with tyre wear, his victory challenge faded, with Rea instead latching onto him as they disputed second.
Melandri, meanwhile, was free to reel off his maiden WSBK
season in style with a fourth victory of the year, a perfect conclusion ahead of his impending switch to BMW for 2012.
Laverty, meanwhile, held off Rea after the Northern Irishman's bold attempt to pass on lap 20 resulted in him going through, but running wide. Even so, though it was a superb 1-2 finish for Yamaha, and a fine run to what is Laverty's sixth podium of the season, Melandri's pass on the Irishman cost him the chance to secure third in the standings, with Laverty finishing equal on points with Max Biaggi, but losing out on count-back of second place finishes.